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(MENAFN - AFP) China's new home prices increased in July for the third straight month, a survey showed Friday, as the market continued to recover on the back of government policy support.

The average price of a new home in China's 100 major cities rose 0.54 percent month-on-month to 10,685 yuan ($1,721) per square metre, the China Index Academy (CIA) said in a report.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Russia's central bank on Friday made its smallest interest rate cut this year as it juggled attempts to resuscitate the economy with inflation fears after a recent slide in the ruble.

The bank cut its key rate by 50 basis points to 11 percent in its fifth reduction since January, as it struggles to breath life into an economy battered by lower oil prices and ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Switzerland's central bank said Friday it lost a record 50 billion francs ($51 billion, 47 billion euros) in the first half of 2015, due mainly to the hefty depreciation of its foreign currency holdings.

The Swiss National Bank had been holding down the value of the franc for more than three years, but suddenly announced on January 15 that it was abandoning ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A surf park on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in Wales opens Saturday, a 300-metre (985-foot) long lagoon that promises the longest man-made surfable waves in the world.

The £12 million ($18.7 million, 17-million-euro) project will see barrelling waves crash back and forth across the lagoon, offering a 20 second ride.

The waves are created once ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese whisky will be sent into space next month to test how time in a zero-gravity environment affects its flavour, one of the country's biggest drinks makers said Friday.

Samples of whisky produced by Suntory will be stored in the Japanese laboratory facility of the International Space Station for at least a year, with some flasks staying longer.

Researchers ...

(MENAFN - AFP) An Ebola vaccine provided 100-percent protection in a field trial in hard-hit Guinea, researchers and officials said Friday, mooting "the beginning of the end" of the killer West African outbreak.

The world is "on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine," the World Health Organization (WHO) said, hailing the results from the first efficacy test of the VSV-ZEBOV ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said Friday that net profits rose by 31 percent in the first half, despite setting aside further funds to compensate customers who were mis-sold insurance.

Profit after tax rose to £874 million (1.245 billion euros, $1.364 billion) in the six months to June from the first half of 2014, LBG said in an earnings statement.

Pre-tax ...

(MENAFN - AFP) ExxonMobil reported Friday second-quarter earnings plunged by more than 50 percent following the big drop in crude oil prices.

Earnings came in at $4.2 billion, down 52.3 percent from the year-ago period and the weakest quarterly profit since 2009. Revenues fell 33.4 percent to $74.1 billion.

The results reflected the impact of a big drop in oil prices ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Italy's economically-crippled south risks being trapped in a permanent cycle of underdevelopment according to a new study which has left the government red-faced.

The anti-establishment Five Star party called on the country's economic development minister Friday to address the Senate on the "frankly disastrous situation" south of the capital, from Naples to ...

(MENAFN - AFP) An Air India plane was forced to return to New Delhi two hours into a flight to Milan on Friday after a "suspected rat sighting" in the cabin.

The airline said no rodent had been found, but it had no choice but to turn back and fumigate the aircraft after the report.

"(The Dreamliner flight) AI 123... returned to Delhi due to (a) suspected rat sighting," ...

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